Fraternal twin gives kidney to sibling in rare procedure

SAN ANTONIO – Surgeons at Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital introduced a pair of fraternal twins who have successfully undergone surgery to share a kidney. The procedure was done to ensure that both of them enjoy a longer life unburdened by dialysis. 

Dionne Orr, 46, said her brother agreed to give her one of his kidneys after her nightly dialysis at home began to take its toll on her life. He agreed to it this spring and on Oct. 22, the two began the process at Methodist campus in the medical center.

Orr suffers from C1q nephropathy, a condition of kidney dysfunction caused by protein deposits on kidney tissues. The deposits activate the immune system causing inflammatory changes in renal tissue and leading to advanced kidney disease known as nephrotic syndrome.  

She began dialysis in 2013, but will no longer need it after the transplant last month.

"I've been living with it for 14 years," she said. 

Her brother, Dushon Orr, said it's the least he could do.  

"She's still here and I'm still here. I think about that every day. I mean, I love my sister more than everything," he said.

Their mother, Joselyn Porter, said all of her children remain close as adults. In fact, Dushon needed a new car, and before the kidney transplant was scheduled, she helped him get one. 

"They have always loved each other and this has brought them closer together. I'm happy," said Porter.

Dushon said he had no doubts about the surgery, but now he is looking forward to healing and maybe even helping his sister get back in shape.

The transplant surgery between fraternal twins is relatively rare, and because the patients share genetic matching, there's reason to believe the organ will not be rejected.